In fourth grade, i remember learning about mythology and how to define it-basically what i remembered was that they were stories about gods and how the world was created that weren't based in fact (unlike legends, which had some historical fact behind them). facts being defined in my mind as "truths". I was always bothered by that definition. the greeks (or other "primitives") who believed in it probably didn't think it was mythology, they believed in it as it was true, just as i believed in God, and everyone around me believed in God (I grew up in 99% Mormon town). why did the Christian God not get called a myth?
the thoughts i have to answer that, one, many people still believe in Christianity, while it is rare to find people who believe in greek mythology, so it is ok for the public consciousness, or the authority who writes textbooks, to call it mythology. they use religion as the current term. Two, it is usually the winners who write the history books (or that keep the history books in print...or don't burn them).
Now, when watching Bones and listening to the Dr. Brennan character speaking of the "Christian mythology", it brought up the whole subject back to mind. Believing myself to be a scientist, how does the "Christian myth" play out in my life? (notice the juxtaposition of believing and scientist? another thought to ponder. i think belief has a lot more to do with science than most scientists are prepared to admit. anyway.) What is difference between truth and fact? Is there a difference? how do I define them? My thoughts go back to the scripture that says that faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true (Alma 32:21).
I also remember learning in school history about monotheism and how it was a (necessary?) development in history, or an advancement in human development, in other words. (sorry that i am fighting the wording. i am not quite sure of the correct words. i need to add the caveat that this is a ramble, not a well thought out essay.) I recently read in History of the Jews by Paul Johnson about how monotheism was a great advancement (this is what i am remembering, i don't have the book with me to get details and I don't remember exactly why it was an advancement, simplicity perhaps?) over polytheism-- poor greeks, their belief system got another put down. Then he went on about how Christianity had dealt with basically having two Gods (God the Father and God the Son) by combining with the Holy Ghost to make the Trinity (One God instead of Three) so they would have the benefits of monotheism (which again, I don't remember what they were. i wish i did, it would make this post better. I will check it out of the library and post an addendum). I thought that it was interesting point, I have always wondered about the reasonings behind the Trinity. The Trinity has always seemed to me to be an awkward explanation of God and Jesus.
what this brought up in my mind, was how does this affect my religion? Mormons do not believe in the "Trinity" or the idea that they are all one being. We believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate individuals. So did that equate to polytheism and to Greek mythology? Three individuals is simpler than the Trinity, but the polytheism issue remains. I guess that is why we add the "one in purpose". As for Greek Mythology, it always sort of bothered me how mean the gods were in their dealings with each other and mankind, and so that was why I was always glad that Christianity was a different type of religion. So even if Mormonism can be technically considered polytheistic?, i still prefer it to the greek polytheism, because Heavenly Father and Jesus love me. and care about me and want us to be nice to each other.
I once read somewhere that the god of the world today is global warming (when something goes wrong in the world, it is because of global warming. it used be because of a god. that was another interesting tangent, that i probably shouldn't go down, since now both children are awake) and that political correctness is its religion. Not that political correctness is a bad thing, I enjoy that mormons should be treated nice and with respect, and that some are making an effort to learn that we haven't practiced polygamy in over 100 years. (a little side note on that- yes it is annoying if you ask me if Doug is going to take another wife. come on people, it has been over 100 years) I, too, feel bad about offending anyone...so sorry if i have offended anybody. These thoughts reflect my beliefs, and i respect your beliefs as well. I thought about listing who might get upset with me...the science people for saying belief is a factor in science and that global warming is today's god... the Christians who believe in the Trinity...the Mormons about being polytheistic...the greek mythology people... oh and I went back and capitalized God so I wouldn't be struck by lightning.